Sir Bob Murray

Welcome to the official website of Sir Bob Murray CBE.

This is the life of a prolific businessman and philanthropist with an enduring passion for education and football. Sir Bob’s achievements and successes are attributed to a firm belief in a strong work ethic, based on lifelong learning and education and aided by drive, determination and a not insignificant amount of good luck!

“I’ve enjoyed creating buildings, businesses and relationships. I rarely do things alone and take strength from working in partnership with great people. Having a good reputation and being trusted is important and I believe in approaching everything I do with sincerity and integrity.”

Using the interactive timeline below, explore key points in his business and football career and milestones throughout his life from early childhood to the present day. You can search by business, football or milestones, using key words in the search box or by clicking on dates on the timeline.

Sir Bob Murray

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2014

November 2014

  1. Using the power of football to inspire, educate and motivate.

    Thousands raised for Foundation

      Sir Bob hosted an exclusive gourmet dinner at the Stadium of Light which raised more than £25,000 for the Foundation of Light in November. Established in 2001 by Sir Bob, the Foundation of Light…

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    Using the power of football to inspire, educate and motivate.

    Sir Bob hosted an exclusive gourmet dinner at the Stadium of Light which raised more than £25,000 for the Foundation of Light in November.

    Established in 2001 by Sir Bob, the Foundation of Light is the registered charity of Sunderland AFC and uses the power of football to educate, inspire and motivate young people and their families. It is the largest football charity in the UK.

    Key supporters and trustees were welcomed to the Stadium of Light by Sir Bob for the fundraising event. Guests from the world of sport and entertainment included journalist Kate Adie OBE, architect and television presenter George Clarke, cricketer Paul Collingwood MBE, award-winning lyricist Sir Tim Rice as well as Olympian and television presenter Steve Cram MBE.

    Sir Bob said: “It’s always a pleasure to return to the Stadium of Light and this event was no exception. It was a special evening and also that raised a lot of money to support the Foundation’s life-changing work in the North East.

    “The evening was a tremendous success and I am extremely grateful to all of our supporters and Trustees for their continued support of the Foundation, a charity which is leading the way in its field and making a huge difference to the region.”

    Prizes on the night included VIP tickets to The Lion King in London’s West End, lunch at the House of Lords, a framed football shirt signed by Brazil legend Pele and a behind –the-scenes tour of St George’s Park, the FA’s National Football Centre.

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    Countess of Wessex supports Beacon of Light

    Sir Bob hosted a special event in Sunderland to raise awareness of the Beacon of Light project and HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO attended as guest of honour. The Beacon of Light will be…

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    Sir Bob hosted a special event in Sunderland to raise awareness of the Beacon of Light project and HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO attended as guest of honour. The Beacon of Light will be a vibrant and exciting education and sports facility and the first of its kind in the UK. It will use the power of football to inspire people and change lives. It will help people gain skills and qualifications and work with families to energise communities.

    The unique centre will become the home of the Foundation of Light in 2017 and include engaging and interactive zones in education; health and fitness; sport and play; and the world of work and will welcome thousands of children, young people and adults through its doors every week.

    The project, which is being led by Sir Bob, will help the Foundation to expand its reach and work with local people in a greater variety of ways to address the health and well-being, education and employment agendas.

    Foundation supporters and Trustees joined The Countess of Wessex on the visit including journalist Kate Adie OBE, architect and TV Restoration Man George Clarke, Olympian and sports broadcaster Steve Cram and Sir Tim Rice.

    Sir Bob said: “The Countess of Wessex has been a fantastic supporter of the Foundation over the years and we were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to an event focused on the iconic Beacon of Light project.

    “Ten years ago this month The Countess of Wessex opened the Centre of Light, a collection of classrooms and offices at the Stadium of Light that have had a huge impact on thousands of children, families and adults.

    “A decade later and we are discussing a new development that will greatly enhance the reach and impact of the Foundation’s work in the region, the natural progression of the work started at Her Royal Highness’ last visit here.”

    For further information about the beacon of light visit http://www.safc.com/foundation-of-light/beacon-of-light

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September 2014

  1. 'Superkev' has signed for Sunderland once again.

    Superkev re-signs for Sunderland

    SAFC’s leading post-war goal scorer, ‘Superkev’ has agreed to become an ambassador for the club’s charity, the Foundation of Light. Sir Bob, who founded the Foundation when he was Chairman of SAFC in 2001, said…

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    ‘Superkev’ has signed for Sunderland once again.

    SAFC’s leading post-war goal scorer, ‘Superkev’ has agreed to become an ambassador for the club’s charity, the Foundation of Light.

    Sir Bob, who founded the Foundation when he was Chairman of SAFC in 2001, said he was thrilled the former fans’ favourite had agreed to join the charity: “Among Sunderland fans Kevin has legendary status. He played a major role in what was one of the club’s most exciting periods, and his goals and talent cemented a place in the club’s folklore.

    “I’ve remained close to Kevin since his days at the club and was sure he’d be interested in helping the Foundation. He’s always been a top man as well as a top player and he was genuinely interested in the invaluable work the Foundation does with families in the region.

    “It was only fair to him to wait until he’d retired as a player to ask him to join us, but I had no hesitation in doing so once he joined the coaching staff at his current club, Leicester.”

    “He is one of the club’s most famous sons and his involvement will make a real difference, heightening awareness and interest in the work we do.”

    Kevin said he was honoured to be asked to become an ambassador for the Foundation: “Sunderland will always hold a special place in my heart. I loved my time on Wearside and have really fond memories of the city and the club.

    “It’s great to be able to give something back to the community after all the support it gave me – and it’s also very hard to say no to Sir Bob.

    “He’s really passionate about the Foundation and has told me just how important the work is that it does. I look forward to helping take the Foundation forward and to promoting the fantastic work it does in the north east.”

    The Foundation works with more than 42,000 adults and children across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham annually. Its mission is to use the power of football to help young people and their families realise their full potential.

    The Foundation’s base is currently within the Stadium of Light, but proposals for a new home, the Beacon of Light, were recently approved by Sunderland Council.

    The Beacon will be an exciting and inspiring education, training and sports facility located next to both the Sunderland Aquatic Centre and the Stadium of Light.

    The unique centre will be the first of its kind in the UK and include engaging and interactive zones in education; health and fitness; sport and play; and the world of work and will welcome thousands of children, young people and adults through its doors every week.

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  1. Picture by Vicky Matthers iconphotomedia

    Proud to be Chancellor of Leeds Beckett

      I am proud to be the Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, which changes its name from Leeds Metropolitan University today. Congratulations to all at the University who have made this important milestone possible. I…

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    I am proud to be the Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, which changes its name from Leeds Metropolitan University today.

    Congratulations to all at the University who have made this important milestone possible. I know that a lot of work from many colleagues has gone into making this step forward.

    The university has changed its name in order to be more distinctive and has also launched its new strapline; Leeds Beckett University: Opening Minds, Opening Doors.

    In business, and when leading any large organisation, those who lead it need to make big decisions. It’s so important to be bold in the decisions you take and stick to what you believe in. I know this myself from personal experience when Sunderland AFC moved from Roker Park to the Stadium of Light. The fans were not always 100% behind the changes but very quickly after the move the majority realised it was the right decision for the club in the long term.

    There may still be people who aren’t fully signed up to Leeds Beckett yet, but I’m sure in time they will be, when they realise what a positive and important strategic step it is for the university.

    Many congratulations to Leeds Beckett University on this exciting day – I look forward to many more years as Chancellor of this great institution.

    Read more here: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/debate/columnists/bob-murray-proud-to-lead-university-into-new-era-1-6853614

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April 2014

  1. Chester-le-Street annual dinner

    Sir Bob enjoyed a wonderful evening at the annual sporting dinner held by the Chester-le-Street branch of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association. The dinner was organised by fans and attended by many red-and-white supporters as well…

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    Sir Bob enjoyed a wonderful evening at the annual sporting dinner held by the Chester-le-Street branch of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association.

    The dinner was organised by fans and attended by many red-and-white supporters as well as representatives from the club.

    Sir Bob said: “I had a fantastic evening and it was great to catch up with so many people, including former Sunderland manager Denis Smith.

    “The atmosphere was great and we were all chatting about the match at Manchester City from the previous night. Many of us were all still reeling from their late goal which cost us the game!”

    Click below to read Sunderland Echo Sport Writer Graeme Anderson’s review of the evening.

    Chester le Street Dinner

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March 2014

  1. Sir Bob at Wembley before the Capital One Cup Final

    Sir Bob’s Cup Final Review

        “It was fantastic to be a Sunderland supporter at Wembley. I felt really proud of the team and how they played and of the fans. The atmosphere was electric and you could see…

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    Sir Bob at Wembley before the Capital One Cup Final

     

    “It was fantastic to be a Sunderland supporter at Wembley. I felt really proud of the team and how they played and of the fans. The atmosphere was electric and you could see what it meant to every SAFC fan to be there. Everyone around me said they’d never heard a roar like it when Sunderland scored.

    “ I thought Gus got it right too in terms of selection, subs and tactics. It was a big occasion and he and the team did us all proud.

    “I’ve always really loved Manchester City as a club. They are a big community club like Sunderland and the fans have backed their club in good and bad times, despite living in the shadow of Manchester United for many years.

    “They know what it’s like to have ups and downs and not so long ago had to endure lower divisions. But, I don’t think we were beaten by that Manchester City on Sunday, the thing that separated us was money.

    “I really hope all the players and the fans can take all the pride and positives from the game and it lifts everyone for the rest of the season.”

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February 2014

  1. Sir Bob’s Cup Final Countdown

      Sir Bob chatted to The Journal’s sports writer Stuart Rayner about the highs and lows of being a Sunderland supporter and reflected on Sunderland’s history at Wembley. Click the links below to read the…

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    Sir Bob at Wembley

    Sir Bob chatted to The Journal’s sports writer Stuart Rayner about the highs and lows of being a Sunderland supporter and reflected on Sunderland’s history at Wembley.

    Click the links below to read the article.

    The Ballad of the Black Cats and Wembley finals 1

    The Ballad of the Black Cats and Wembley finals 2

     

     

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2013

July 2013

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    George Clarke joins Foundation of Light

    Sunderland-born TV personality George Clarke has been appointed Trustee of the Foundation of Light after being personally invited by Sir Bob. George, who was born and raised in Sunderland, studied architecture at the University of…

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    Chair of Trustees of the Foundation of Light, Sir Bob Murray with George Clarke

    Sunderland-born TV personality George Clarke has been appointed Trustee of the Foundation of Light after being personally invited by Sir Bob.

    George, who was born and raised in Sunderland, studied architecture at the University of Newcastle and is now Creative Director of London-based architectural practice George Clarke + Partners which has established a reputation for designing and building high quality, award winning projects throughout the UK and abroad.

    George is also a writer, lecturer and TV presenter and has presented popular TV shows including Build a New Life in the Country, The Home Show, Restoration Man and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.

    Bob invited George to join the board after Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE stepped down from the board earlier this year.

    Speaking of his appointment, George said; “I’m delighted to join the Foundation of Light as a trustee and want to publically express my thanks to Sir Bob for asking me.

    “Being from the North East I am keen to be involved in the regeneration of the region in any way I can. The Foundation is doing some fantastic work across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham and it’s a real privilege to be able to accept this official role with them.”

    Bob added; “George has a real grasp of the importance of community and like the Foundation of Light, is passionate about regeneration and helping to transform people’s lives.

    “I am certain his creative perspective and vast experience in architecture will further strengthen our Board.

    “His public profile will also be a huge asset and will help us to convey the importance of the Foundation’s work to the public and other stakeholders.”

    The Foundation of Light uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than 42,000 young people and their families across the North East each year.

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January 2013

  1. Sir Bob Murray Kickz Pic 1 (4)

    Sir Bob chats to nebusiness and visits youth project in Derwentside

    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.   View Article Page 1 View…

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    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.

     

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    View Article Page 2

     

    Later in the day he visited Derwentside to see at first-hand the impact of a youth project in Consett, Co. Durham.
    Sir Bob, who is the founder and Chair of Trustees for the Foundation of Light praised the work of the family learning and Kickz programme, which was launched in Consett and Stanley last year.

    The programme provides a range of sport related activities for 13 to 19-year-olds and has achieved impressive results in the region.
    It was expanded to Derwentside following a new partnership between Derwentside Homes and the Foundation of Light.
    The award-winning Kickz programme uses the power of football to engage with young people in local communities and aims is to reduce anti-social behaviour,
    teach youngsters valuable skills and increase their confidence.

    The Foundation has also rolled out its successful Family Learning programme in Derwentside, which offers first steps learning to parents and carers, as well as adult learning courses and qualifications.

    Since it was launched in April 2012, over 1,780 youngsters have participated in the Kickz evening, holiday and daytime sessions in schools across the District. Police have also reported that since May 2012, crime has reduced by 72% in the Consett town centre area.

    Over 40 local families have engaged in Family Learning courses in Derwentside since September 2012 and of those, 27 families have fully completed the courses.

    Sir Bob said: “It’s fantastic to see the positive impact that the Foundation is already having in the Derwentside area.”

    “One of the Foundation’s aims is to give people the opportunity to change their lives for the better and the support of organisations such as Derwentside Homes really make this possible by helping us into the heart of communities.”

    “I always believe that a huge amount of credit should go to those who take part in the programmes and are willing to give new things a go. It was a real pleasure meeting some of those people today and they are a real inspiration to all of us at the Foundation of Light.”

    Derwentside Homes’ chief executive Geraldine Wilcox said: “It was really generous of Sir Bob to come and visit the project and meet the youngsters and families that benefit from these activities. He is an ambassador for the North East and an inspiration to young people.

    “Since it was launched, the programme has grown from strength to strength and results demonstrate that through effective partnership working, we can make a difference to the lives of people who live in our communities.

    “Young people are the future so it important that we show our commitment by investing in services for them which will have a long lasting impact on a future generation.”

    Kickz sessions take place weekly at Derwentside College and The Chill In in Consett and Stanley Youth Centre and St. Stephen’s Church in Stanley.

    For more information about the Foundation of Light click here http://www.safc.com/foundation-of-light

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    Sir Bob installed as Chancellor at Leeds Metropolitan

    Sir Bob was installed as Leeds Metropolitan University’s new Chancellor during an official ceremony in the university’s Great Hall on Monday 28th January. The formal occasion began with 100 representatives from across the university leading…

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    Sir Bob was installed as Leeds Metropolitan University’s new Chancellor during an official ceremony in the university’s Great Hall on Monday 28th January.

    The formal occasion began with 100 representatives from across the university leading a procession, followed by a showcase of student work, including music and dance performances.

    Vice Chancellor Professor Susan Price welcomed guests while Jenny Share, Secretary and Registrar, gave a citation detailing Sir Bob’s achievements to date. Following his installation, the Lord Mayor of Leeds offered Sir Bob a civic welcome.

    The university announced Bob was to be their new figurehead in October last year. As an alumnus of Leeds Met, his links with the university date back to 1969 when he moved to Yorkshire to study accountancy part-time at the university’s predecessor institution, Leeds Polytechnic. Some years later, in 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration by Leeds Metropolitan for his contribution to business and sport.

    Speaking during the Inauguration ceremony Sir Bob said: “I’m both astonished and thrilled to be here today. I feel very privileged to be invited to be Chancellor of this esteemed institution and I would like to thank the University for granting me this unique position.

    “I’ve strived to achieve many goals in my life, but I would never have dreamt that being Chancellor of a major University, with 30,000 students and staff, would become one of them!”
    Talking about his own education he said: “If you had read my school reports, I am not sure I would be standing here today! The fact is I failed at School. In part due to a childhood setback, but also a modest work ethic! I believe my personal story to be apt though, as it demonstrates the power of education.
    “I was born just after the war in the baby boom of 1946. When I left school in 1961 there were twice as many school leavers seeking employment as there were jobs. As there was no prospect of me joining the local steelworks where my dad worked, I was unemployed for a year. That experience was the hardest but also the most important of my life. It had a profound effect and changed my life.”

    “It gave me a lifelong driving ambition to succeed and I finally woke up and understood the importance of education.” “I am especially thrilled to be taking on this role in Leeds. I came to Yorkshire in 1969 for 2 years to advance my career. That was 44 years ago! Yorkshire is now my adopted home and I have spent my entire business career here.

    Reflecting on his business career he added, “Throughout my career I’ve always been passionate about building things. I’m inspired by creating businesses, developing major projects and forming relationships. I never do things alone, always choosing to work in partnership with great people. I believe in approaching everything I do with sincerity and integrity.”

    “I hope my experience in business and lifelong focus on education will give me the necessary qualities to support the university, its outstanding staff and the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals to achieve their ambitions and aspirations.”

    Inauguration Invitation

    Leeds Metropolitan University  

    •     Leeds Metropolitan University has over 27,000 students and around 2,800 staff.

    •     The Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University is Professor Susan Price and the Chair of the Board is Lord Woolmer of Leeds.

    •      Leeds Metropolitan’s four faculties are: Arts, Environment and Technology, Business & Law, Health and Social Sciences, and Carnegie.

    •      Leeds Metropolitan’s heritage can be traced back to the founding of the Mechanics Institute in Leeds in 1824.

    •      The Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) showed that the proportion of Leeds Metropolitan 2010/11 graduates in work, further study or both six months after leaving university was 91.87%.

    •      Libraries and Learning Innovation at Leeds Metropolitan was awarded the CSE standard for the tenth year running in 2012.

    •      In 2012, Leeds Metropolitan was awarded a ‘First’ in the People & Planet Green League, a league table of environmentally friendly universities, for the sixth consecutive year.

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